The first album of Haken‘s that I had noticed was ‘The Mountain’. From that moment on I was fascinated by the sound of the Englishmen. Haken manage to combine different elements into an own and unique sound like hardly any other band.
There are the musical skills of the six musicians, which is revealed in the complexity of the songs. In addition, Haken manage to add with well-made melody lines a catchiness to their complexity. And last but not least, the band’s albums always have a lyrical concept.
This time it is about the animal world, as the title of the album already indicates. One feels a thematically a bit reminded of the last Long Distance Calling album, but Haken also support the subject matter with lyrics.
From the beginning it was clear that each song should be dedicated to an animal. Each of the nine songs has a depth and exemplary ‘Eyes of Ebony’ can be mentioned. On the one hand the song is about the northern white rhinoceros, which is on the verge of extinction after the last male died in March 2018. Equality Richard Henshall dedicates the song to his father, who died of a heart attack almost three years ago. Both represent the end of something and form the basic framework for the song.
Just as multifaceted as the lyrics is the music on ‘Fauna’. As an example, the brilliant ‘The Alphabet of Me’ is worth mentioning. The vocals of Ross Jennings by themselves are inspiring and demonstrate the power of the singer’s voice. At the same time he is able to interpret the soulful parts authentically, which gives the listener the opportunity to dive into the lyrics.
‘Taurus’ some of you might already know from the recent live shows of the band. Here, too, the lyrics have two possible interpretations. Generally it is about great migrations and movements. In the animal world it is the migration of the wildebeest and at the same time the lyrics can also be understood on the expulsion and destruction in Ukraine by the Russian invasion. The song is driven by the thundering rhythm, which brilliantly reinforces the lyrical concept.
‘Fauna’ knows no weak spot. Each of the nine songs shows the whole class of the sextet. ‘Islands in the Clouds’ with its jumping bassline is just as great as the very varied ‘Lovebite’ where charming melodies blend with hard riffs.
The intricate and only slowly unfolding ‘Elephants Never Forget’ is another musical treat that reveals new details to each listener.
‘Fauna’ has become a sophisticated album. It is not as heavy as the previous two albums. At the same time it skillfully combines the Haken trademarks and is thus another highlight in an impressive discography.
- The Alphabet of Me
- Sempiternal Beings
- Beneath The White Rainbow
- Island In the Clouds
- Elephants Never Forget
- Eyes Of Ebony
Label: Inside Out Music
Genre: Progressive Rock/Metal
Release Date EU: March 3rd, 2023
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